Jail, home detention for pair in drunken 'white power' attack

Regan Sleeman (22)
Regan Sleeman (22)
After racist and homophobic slurs, two Mosgiel men laid into their victims in a vicious street attack, a court has heard.

Jessy Clayton Clark (24), who was the agitator in the incident, was sentenced to 11 months’ home detention by Judge Jim Large when he appeared before the Dunedin District Court yesterday on charges of wounding with intent to injure and assault with intent to injure.

Regan James Sleeman (22) was jailed for three years yesterday on identical charges as well as counts of injuring with intent to injure, obstructing police and failing to assist police carrying out a search from an earlier episode.

On October 12 last year, Sleeman was out drinking in town with his cousin.

In the same bar was a university PhD student with whom they had a brief interaction.

When the man left, Sleeman and his cousin followed.

They caught up with the victim in Dowling St and a scuffle sent the man to the ground.

Sleeman stomped twice on his head before he was pulled off.

The victim was taken to hospital where he was found to have two fractures to his cheekbone and one to his nose.

Lacerations to the man’s face and head were glued together because he did not want stitches, the court heard.

Sleeman attended the Dunedin Central police station on November 1, but it was no routine arrest.

He refused to hand over his cellphone and when officers finally seized it, he refused to give his password to them.

Jessy Clark (24)
Jessy Clark (24)

 

Sleeman was bailed on condition he abide by a curfew and abstain from alcohol.

On December 14, at 3am — after drinking and while he should have been at home — the defendant was in McDonald’s in George St with his 24-year-old friend Jessy Clayton Clark.

Clark stood over two men in an "aggressive manner", claiming they had said something insulting to him.

The pair remained seated and managed to pacify the defendant who staggered off.

He sat with Sleeman and abused other members of the public as they entered the restaurant.

When this too failed to spark a violent reaction, the man removed his shirt and stood in the middle of the concourse, slapping his bare chest.

Sleeman, meanwhile, recorded the drunken escapade with his cellphone.

Clark performed a Nazi salute and yelled "white power".

Finally, he was able to catch people’s attention by shouting homophobic slurs.

Sleeman and Clark invited two men to fight, but they declined and walked away.

The defendants were unwilling to let it go.

Outside, Sleeman and Clark appeared to have dropped the apparent grudge and walked towards to Octagon.

However, they doubled back and immediately confronted the victims.

The first victim was attacked by both defendants and ended up on his back with his head hanging over the kerb.

Sleeman punched him as he lay there.

Clark then "blind-sided" the second victim standing nearby, punching him in the head while he was distracted.

"A king hit", Judge Large called it.

The man fell to the ground and hit his face on the pavement before a police car arrived and the defendants fled.

The first victim suffered a broken nose and fractured eye socket while the second received cuts and grazes.

Sleeman’s counsel Brian Kilkelly said his client was midway through an apprenticeship, which he hoped to complete on release.

"He’s a young man who just can’t go anywhere near alcohol at all," he said.

Meg Scally, on behalf of Clark, said he was embarrassed by the incident and well aware someone could have died as a result of the violence.

He had to walk out of the room when shown CCTV footage of the incident, she said.

Clark was "at a loss", Ms Scally said, to explain the racist outburst and stressed he was certainly not a member of any group who held such views.

Sleeman paid $300 reparation, Clark contributed $1300.

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